Wednesday,  October 16, 2019  12:56 am

Canadian arrivals to Australia jump by 8%

Canadian arrivals to Australia jump by 8%
Jane Whitehead, vice president/regional general manager, The Americas at Tourism Australia, and Christopher Maggio, PR manager, The Americas, Tourism Australia.
Christine Hogg

Christine Hogg is the Associate Digital Editor at PAX Global Media. Prior to joining PAX, she obtained her Honours BA in Journalism from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, she went on to write for several travel publications while travelling the world. Her longest trip was a three-week stint in Europe, and the shortest was a 16-hour adventure in Iceland. Get in touch:

Canadian arrivals to Australia have jumped by approximately eight per cent largely in part thanks to increased frequency from Air Canada.

Yesterday afternoon (May 14), Tourism Australia invited partners to a lunch at the Chase Fish & Oyster to mix and mingle, while enjoying a fresh oyster-shucking session and of course, fine Australian wines.

"We've seen about 186,000 Canadians come to Australia, and Canadians continue to be a really important, growing market for Australia," Jane Whitehead, vice president/regional general manager, The Americas at Tourism Australia, told PAX in an interview.

Daily, non-stop service from Air Canada

Since 2015, Air Canada has increased its seat capacity to Australia by more than 140 per cent, with daily service out of Vancouver. The service includes 300-seat year-round service from Vancouver to Sydney, up to four times weekly year-round 298-seat service from Vancouver to Melbourne (previously a seasonal route launched in December 2017, became year-round effective June 2018), and daily year-round 255-seat service from Vancouver to Brisbane.

"The non-stop flight from Vancouver to Melbourne is Air Canada's longest direct flight, and it's 16 hours," Simona Cercel, manager, sales and tourism development, Air Canada, told PAX. "I just returned from Australia a few days ago, and the trip was life-changing."

Tons of new product

"We've got a lot going on in Australia right now," Whitehead said. "We've continued to roll out our Signature Experiences of Australia Collection, and we've got our new Cultural Attractions Australia Collection, which includes 22 premium experiences, and new ways to experience some of the most iconic cultural institutions and attractions in Australia."

Some of the opportunities included in the Signature Experiences Collection include visiting wineries, fishing and wildlife encounters, luxury golfing, and Aboriginal experiences.

The food and wine scene is also booming, from Australian distilleries to new urban wineries that are popping up all over the country .Ecotourism is also growing, with several boutique and luxury eco-friendly properties gaining popularity, like Discovery Rottnest Island, a brand new eco-resort on Rottnest Island, and Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort Great Barrier Reef, which has just finished a refurbishment.

"We continue to put a big focus on how we can get more travel agents involved in our Aussie Specialist Program and supporting them with education and training," Whitehead told PAX. "We have about 800 Aussie Specialists who are qualified and nearly 300 who are in training to become part of the program. It's a great way for us to stay connected and make sure they have a suite of tools to access to ensure they're equipped to cater to their clients."

Travel agents wanting to learn more about Tourism Australia's Aussie Specialist program can click here.

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